PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF MINI SPRINKLER IRRIGATION SYSTEM: COMPARISON OF THE PLASTIC AND IRON MADE SPRINKLER SYSTEM

ABSTRACT
This dissertation is a study to evaluate and compare the hydraulic performance of plastic and iron mini sprinkler system using 8mm and 14mm diameter nozzle sizes.
The study was carried out at a farm land of the national water resources institute, Mando, Kaduna.
In this study, meteorological data such as rainfall, evaporation, relative humidity, wind speed/ direction, maximum and minimum temperature were first taken into consideration, soil, sample test were investigated for their physical and chemical properties.
Water is a key factor in increasing agricultural production. However, the global Climate Change and its attendant effects on scarce water resources have further reduced the amount of water available for agriculture. The need to encourage small scale farmers on the use of modern method such as sprinklers other than the traditional mass irrigation methods which waste water. At least, the stemming problems of neighbor irrigators sharing same water source will be arrested.
The work is based on the evaluation of the hydraulic performance of the plastic and iron sprinkler system towards the determination of the discharges of the sprinkles, Pressure radius of throw of the mini sprinklers, application rate, distribution pattern of the sprinklers on the soil, and the uniformity coefficient of the sprinkler system.
The experimental set up for determination of the hydraulic performance consist of a horse power (1hp) pump connected to a 200L reservoir tank filled to the brim with water. A pressured hose connected to the reservoir, takes water through the inlets to the pump. A pipe connected to the out let of the pump, take the water to the main line passing through a filter to entrap solid particles. The mainline, distribute the water to the sub main line, and the sub main line, takes water to the lateral line, hosting the sprinklers. The water gets to the riser pipe, and the sprinklers rotate and spread water.
All measurements for the parameters were set up for 9 different operating pressure with an increment of 0.5kg/cm2, the results were collected and evaluated for their hydraulic efficiencies.
Maximum and minimum pressures were obtained as 8.9,11.1L/Min and 40.0 -52.6 L/Min for plastic and iron. The radius of throw were obtained as 2.0, 2.4cm and 8.2,14.5cm respectively. For plastic and iron made sprinkler system. The sprinkler application rate (precipitation rate) were obtained at min and max to be213.5mm/hr,814.2mm/hr for 8mm iron and 692.3mm/hr,1172.3mm/hr for 8mm plastic. The distribution pattern of the system on the soil is uniform, with the system uniformity coefficient found to be 96.7%,97.2% 14mm plastic and iron. 96.99%,97.9%8mm plastic and iron respectively.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
In many part of the world, rainfall is not uniformly distributed over time and space. In addition, the amount of rain is not adequate to meet the water requirement of crops and to supplement this deficiency, artificial application of water is required.

Irrigation is the application of water to soil to assist in the production of crops. It is practiced in many parts of the world with the aims of providing water for crop growth when natural precipitation is in short supply and /or distribution is erratic. Irrigation is usually supplied to supplement the water available from rainfall, soil moisture, and capillary rise of groundwater.

Irrigation water is brought to dry land through artificial means, such as pipes, hoses, or ditches. The land that is being irrigated usually contains crops,grass, or vegetation that would not usually receive enough water from rainfall or other natural sources. Sometime,the reason to irrigate a portion of land is that it happens to be a dry season, with less than average amounts of rainfall. Or, it might be necessary to do so because theland never would receive enough water on its own to be fertile. The water that is used for irrigation might be taken from nearby lakes, reservoirs, rivers or wells. The source of irrigation water can be surface water, ground water or non-conventional water (such as desalinated water and treated wastewater)Sawa and Frenken, 2002.

The amount of water that is to be used for irrigation depends on the type of crop that is being farmed as well as the amount of rainfall in the region. The US for instance uses about
one third of the water utilized every year (US Geological Survey, 2014).Moreso, the correct amount of water to apply at each irrigation depends on the water holding capacity of the soil and root depth, infiltration rate, and the rate at which water goes into the soil which varies from one irrigation to the next and from season to season.

Water must be available in sufficient quantity from a locally accessible source. A clean supply of water free of sediment is required to avoid blockage in sprinkler nozzles and crop spoilage (FAO, 1988).

There are many methods that can be used for irrigating farmland, and each one needs an experienced farmer to know exactly how much water to use and when to use it. Some of the methods includes furrow, Basin, Border, Drip and Sprinkler. However, sprinkler irrigation is a method of applying irrigation water which is distributed through a system of pipes usually by pumping. It is then sprayed into air through sprinklers so that it breaks up into small water drops which falls to the ground. The pump supply system, sprinklers and operating conditions must be designed to enable uniform application of water.

Sprinkler Irrigation is suited for most row, field and tree crops and water can be sprayed over or under the crop canopy. However, large sprinklers are not recommended for irrigation of delicate crops such as lettuce because the large water drops produced by the sprinkler may damage the crop.

Sprinkler Irrigation is adapted to any farmable slope, whether uniform or undulating. The lateral pipes supplying water to the sprinkler should always be laid out along the land contour whenever possible. This will minimize the pressure changes at the sprinklers and provide a uniform irrigation.

Sprinklers are suited with high infiltration rates. Although they are adaptable to most soil types. The average application rate of the sprinkler (mm/hour) is set to lower than basic infiltration rate of the soil so that surface pounding and run off can be avoided. Sprinklers are not suitable for soil that easily form a crust or in case of risk of salinization. Moreover, they can easily clog with the presence of sediments or debris. If sprinkler irrigation is the only method available, then light fine sprays should be used. Sprinkler producing large water droplets should be avoided (FAO, 1991).

A good clean supply of water, free of suspended sediments is required to avoid problems of sprinkler nozzle blockage and spoiling the crop by coating it with sediments. A sprinkler requires water flow and water pressure to operate. When a sprinkler design fails, it is almost always due to a lack of water pressure at the sprinkler.

The water pressure of a sprinkler irrigation system is the energy that makes the water to flow. And as the water flow from the water source through an assembled system of pipes, only a small amount of water pressure is used up. So after the water gets through all the pipes and valves and reaches the sprinkler, there still must be enough pressure left to make the sprinkler head rotates correctly. So by using the correct sizes of pipes / hoses, etc. one can control how much pressure is lost in the irrigation system.

1.2       Statement of the Research Problem
Water is a key factor in increasing agricultural production. However, the global Climate Change and its attendant effects on scarce water resources have further reduced the amount of water available for agriculture.

More so, irrigation of plant is usually time consuming activity most especially for furrow, basin and border to be done in a reasonable amount of time, it requires a large amount of human resources and efforts.

All the steps were executed by humans with close monitoring by farmers to control water from overflowing its banks. Traditionally, mass irrigation remains one method used by small scale farmers to water their plants. This method only represents massive losses since the amount of water given is always in excess of the plants need. The excess water is evacuated by the holes of the pots in green house or it percolate through the soil in field. Perhaps, the contemporary perception of a small scale farmer towards irrigation water is free, renewable sources that can be used in abundance. However, this is not realistic as statistics have shown that the volume of accessible water surface is on the decrease. According to the UN Water‟s 2011 policy brief, it was forecast that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two third of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. (UN Water‟s 2011 brief)

It is therefore reasonable to assume that it will become very expensive resources everywhere. It has become imperative to begin plan to economies water use for optimum productivity. This is possible only through improved water management and adopting advanced techniques of irrigation. One such method of modern irrigation is sprinkler irrigation system which can become more popular among farmer in the country if encouraged.

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 89 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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